England teenagers Barclay Brown and Sophie Johnson both held their nerve to claim the boys’ and girls’ titles at the Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship at PGA Catalunya in Spain.
Brown, an England boy international and Carris Trophy champion, won by five shots and was the only player to finish under par. He was one-under after 54 holes on the Stadium Course, which was playing long after recent rain.
However, the Yorkshire 17-year-old had to hold on tight at one point. He started the final round five shots clear and after three birdies in four holes he was eight clear. But after the turn he dropped three shots in four holes, before showing resilience and a magic touch on the short 16th, where his birdie gave him welcome breathing space.
Afterwards, Brown commented: “I’m pretty relieved as it was getting really close. It should have been quite an easy ride on the back nine.”
Brown, who will attend Stanford University in California next year, was appearing in the event for the third time. He follows in the footsteps of Matt Fitzpatrick, a fellow member of Hallamshire Golf Club, who won this title in 2012.
Oliver Smith, from East Sussex, and Scotland’s Jack Broun shared second place on four over.
The outcome of the girls’ event was a close-run affair. For much of the round Johnson, from Telford, Shropshire, looked to be in a two-way scrap with Scotland’s Louise Duncan.
But when she reached the 16th, Johnson discovered that Scotland’s Hannah Darling had charged up the leaderboard with a closing 69, the only sub-70 round by any player.
However Johnson kept calm and went on to hole out from 4ft for a 74 and a two-shot triumph on eight-over par – and was immediately mobbed by hugs from her England team-mates.
Johnson, 18, is an England squad player who reached the quarter finals of the British girls’ championship. She commented: “This feels so good and the best way to finish off my junior career.”
Hannah Darling was runner-up on 10-over, with Louise Duncan taking third place on 12-over.